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Old 07-04-2010, 01:15 AM   #1
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Best stand alone novels - any genre, any author

Hi All,

Lately I've been wanting to expand my field of reading....new authors and new genres. So I'm looking for ideas.

I don't want to say too much about what I like to read as the idea is to branch out to things different to what I normally read. However........

I love all sorts of science fiction.
Been getting into urban fantasy a bit but have gone off epic fantasy.
I like the book to have a good pace but am not averse to a well written slower paced book that is interesting.

So why "stand alone" novels?

I want to try new stuff but when I read I like to know how the story ends so I don't want to get hooked into a series unless I know I like the genre or author.

It's fine if the suggested book is part of a series so long as the book can be read, understood and enjoyed(and "finishes") without the need to read to read the other books in the series.

So hit me with your best shots please!

Cheers,
PKFFW

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 07-06-2010 at 04:59 PM. Reason: changed "along" to "alone"
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:03 AM   #2
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Are you into legal thrillers? John Grisham writes some real "page turners".
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:19 AM   #3
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Hmm, most Urban Fantasy I can think of is series based. Maybe 'War for the Oaks' by Emma Bull.

For SciFi maybe 'In Fury Born' ( an extended version of Path of the Fury) by David Weber. It's $6 DRM free from Baen or you should be able to get it off a 5th Imperium CD.


EDIT: Well it seems that 'War for the Oaks' isn't for sale as an ebook (if that matters to you), which is kinda strange since Tor gave it away as a free ebook a few years ago.

Last edited by AnemicOak; 07-04-2010 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Hmm, most Urban Fantasy I can think of is series based. Maybe 'War for the Oaks' by Emma Bull.

For SciFi maybe 'In Fury Born' ( an extended version of Path of the Fury) by David Weber. It's $6 DRM free from Baen or you should be able to get it off a 5th Imperium CD.


EDIT: Well it seems that 'War for the Oaks' isn't for sale as an ebook (if that matters to you), which is kinda strange since Tor gave it away as a free ebook a few years ago.
Isn't that a MacMillian Book? Wouldn't it be caught up in the agency debacle?
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:11 AM   #5
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PKFFW,

You might enjoy Michael Connelly's crime and legal thrillers. They're certainly fast-paced.

Many of his books feature his LA detective, Harry Bosch. They're not a series, but most of the titles make references to incidents and characters in the other books.

But his best book (in my opinion) is The Lincoln Lawyer, which is completely stand-alone. Based on what I can glean about your tastes, I think you'll like it.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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Isn't that a MacMillian Book? Wouldn't it be caught up in the agency debacle?
Yes, it would be a MacMillan (Tor) book, but as far as I know Agency titles are available most places now. That book however is MIA.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:44 PM   #7
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For Urban Fantasy, i really like Orson Scott Card's stand alone books like Lost Boys and Homebody. Also Neil Gaiman writes lots of Urban Fantasy and all of it is essentially standalone - Neverwhere, American Gods, Anansi Brothers, Stardust...

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Old 07-04-2010, 05:50 PM   #8
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+1 for Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card. The ending caught me completely off guard....and took my emotions through quite the loop. I had my wife read it and she was hit so hard she was actually mad at me. But in a good way.

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Old 07-04-2010, 06:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Yes, it would be a MacMillan (Tor) book, but as far as I know Agency titles are available most places now. That book however is MIA.
Huh. Must have missed that. Still. It looks like an interesting book, too.

I second American Gods. (The link is just to Inkmesh You can get it several places)
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PKFFW View Post
Hi All,

Lately I've been wanting to expand my field of reading....new authors and new genres. So I'm looking for ideas.

<snip>
I love all sorts of science fiction.
Been getting into urban fantasy a bit but have gone off epic fantasy.
I like the book to have a good pace but am not averse to a well written slower paced book that is interesting.

<snip>

Cheers,
PKFFW
Hi PKFFW,

for science-fiction: Rendezvous with Rama by A. C. Clark; Dune (of course!); Forge of God by Greg Bear, and if you like it, Anvil of Stars is a follow-up.

For something that approaches the supernatural without delving too deeply, John Connolly is excellent.

Someone I just discovered recently: Mick Herron. somewhat literary, but his books are thrillers, through-and-through, with lashings of humor.

Cheers,

Michael P
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:35 PM   #11
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Thanks for the replies people, much appreciated.

I do enjoy a good legal thriller when it comes to movies so might give that genre a go.

I had actually forgotten about Neil Gaiman, having read American Gods but nothing else. So thanks for reminding me of such a great author.

War for the Oaks also looks quite interesting.

Any more ideas are always welcome.

Cheers,
PKFFW
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:12 AM   #12
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In SF and Fantasy, my recommendations are:


Morningstar by David Gemmell. Many of his works can be read as standalone novels as well.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (free here on MR).

Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny. Again, many of his other works are standalones as well. A special mention goes to this book, which is one of my favorites of his, yet it seems like not many people know of (I love Mardak's prayers).

The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn
. Alistair MacLean style Mystery and SF all rolled into one.

The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones. More of a children book, yet very very good. Most of her other works are standalone as well and very good also.

In any other genre I think standalones are the norm not the exception, but I'm not that well read in other genres.

EDIT: Another standalone book that I love, a fantasy/comedy (though different than Terry Pratchett) is Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart.

Last edited by Dave Berk; 07-05-2010 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:38 PM   #13
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Hi PKFFW,

for science-fiction... Dune (of course!); Forge of God by Greg Bear, and if you like it, Anvil of Stars is a follow-up...

Cheers,

Michael P
Thats what I was going to recommend, except I was gonna say just skip Forge of God and read Anvil of Stars as stand alone. I didnt think Forge of God was very good, and its plot is simple enough that you can skip it.

----------------------------------------
Eon by Greg bear is pretty good too.

If you want to move to something completely different-

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy is a good into to his work.

I, Claudius by Robert Graves is one of the best historical fiction novels out there. Aztec and Gates of Fire are pretty good, also. They're geared more toward entertainment then Graves book, though I do find Graves books to be entertaining.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:32 PM   #14
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Hi Dave and Pete,

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll check them out.

Cheers,
PKFFW
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:46 PM   #15
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Mystic River or Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane.

Of course, if you've seen the movies, a lot of the "punch" of these books will be lost.
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